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NBC Going All-In on Virtual Reality Olympic Coverage

NBC announced they teamed up with Intel True VR to provide more than 50 hours of live virtual reality coverage during next month’s Olympic Winter Games.

“The Olympics have long been an opportunity to showcase emerging media technology,” said Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics. “With the help of Intel’s industry-leading virtual reality technology, NBC Olympics will deliver a transformative experience that will bring to Olympic fans an entirely new perspective on the speed, thrills, and excitement of an Olympic Winter Games.”

Intel True VR technology uses multiple cameras to create an interactive 360-degree virtual reality experience. Consumers with Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and Google Daydream, paired with compatible iOS or Android devices will be able to take advantage of the VR programming using the NBC Sports VR app.

“The Olympic Games is a unique opportunity to bring people from around the world together to build camaraderie and cheer for their favorite athletes,” said James Carwana, vice president and general manager of Intel Sports Group. “We are enabling a truly immersive experience, where fans get closer to the action than ever before allowing them feel like they are sitting in the stands for a front and center view of history being made.”

VR programming will include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, alpine skiing, curling, snowboarding, skeleton, figure skating, short track, ski jumping, ice hockey and big air. Replays of all previously livestreamed events will be available. Viewers will be able to switch between multiple camera angles and hear natural sound to provide the feeling of being live at the event.

The following is a full VR Live Schedule provided by NBC:

Date

Coverage

Time (ET)

Fri., Feb. 9

Opening Ceremony

8 p.m.*

Alpine Skiing (Men’s Downhill – Training)

9 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 10

Alpine Skiing (Men’s Downhill)

9 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 11

Curling (Mixed Doubles Semifinal)

7:05 p.m.

Mon., Feb. 12

Curling (Mixed Doubles Semifinal)

6:05 a.m.

Snowboard Halfpipe (Women’s Final)

8 p.m.

Snowboard Halfpipe (Men’s Qualifying)

11 p.m.

Tues., Feb. 13

Snowboard Halfpipe (Men’s Final)

8:30 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 14

Figure Skating (Pairs’ Free)

8:30 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 15

Skeleton (Men’s Final)

7:30 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 16

Skeleton (Women’s Runs)

6:20 a.m.

Figure Skating (Men’s Free)

8 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 17

Short Track (Men’s and Women’s)

5 a.m.

Alpine Skiing (Men’s Giant Slalom)

8:15 p.m.

Alpine Skiing (Men’s Giant Slalom)

11:45 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 18

Mon., Feb. 19

Ski Jumping (Men’s LH Team)

7:30 a.m.

Figure Skating (Ice Dance)

8 p.m.

Tues., Feb. 20

Alpine Skiing (Women’s Downhill)

9 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 21

Ice Hockey (Women’s Gold Medal Final)

11:10 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 22

Big Air (Women’s Final)

7:30 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 23

Big Air (Men’s Final)

8 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 24

Ice Hockey (Men’s Gold Medal Final)

11:10 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 25

Closing Ceremony

8 p.m.*

*Indicates same-day delay

NBC did offer VR programming for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but most content was available on next-day delay.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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